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Greenbelt Cycling Route Implementation Project Lead: Waterfront Regeneration Trust Transportation Options May 2013 PowerPoint Presentation
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Greenbelt Cycling Route Implementation Project Lead: Waterfront Regeneration Trust Transportation Options May 2013. Meeting Objectives. Confirm and/or determine the working route for the Greenbelt cycling r oute. Identify north/south connections Strategy for approvals. Project Overview.

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Greenbelt Cycling Route


Project Lead: Waterfront Regeneration Trust

Transportation Options

May 2013


Meeting Objectives

  • Confirm and/or determine the working route for the Greenbelt cycling route.
  • Identify north/south connections
  • Strategy for approvals

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Project Overview

  • Create a signature, signed cycling route
  • Owned and maintained by the communities
  • Designed for recreational cyclists
  • Using existing infrastructure
  • 3 to 5 Connections to the Waterfront Trail
  • 600km - 6 Regions
  • Cobourg to Niagara
  • County of Northumberland,
  • Regions of Durham, York, Peel, Halton& Niagara and City of Hamilton

Waterfront Regeneration Trust



  • The Greenbelt Foundation
    • Funding WRT’s 3-year program
    • Identity/signage program
    • Promotional support
    • Announcement: May 28th as part of the Ontario Bike Summit
  • Waterfront Regeneration Trust
    • Project Lead
    • Mapping, Mobile Workshop, Signage, Launch
  • Transportation Options
    • Developing Tourism Partnerships
    • Welcome Cyclists Program
  • Participating Regions & partners
    • Identify the Route
    • Own and maintain the route

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Concept E

Concept F


Initial Feasibility Phase

  • September 2012 to November 2012
  • Routing
  • What approvals are needed
  • Timelines involved
  • Using existing infrastructure is routing possible?
  • Maintenance
  • Route ownership
  • Signage installation
  •  Marketing
  • Tourism
  • Regional to residents

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Overall Observations

  • There is strong support for the concept of the Greenbelt Cycling Route (GBCR) from the consulted municipalities.
  • GBCR is seen as offering a new experience for recreational cyclists and a way to both attract visitors to the participating communities, and to enhance the appeal of the communities as a great place to live and work.
  • The GBCR builds on many existing initiatives to implement active transportation master plans and create new signature cycling/trail routes.
  • Based on remarks by consulted municipalities, a continuous signed route is achievable by 2015. However, in the long term, the GBCR will be improved to take advantage of planned infrastructure improvements to cycling facilities.
  • Important to design a route for recreational cyclists (rather than athletic/training cyclists) as a means to deliver economic benefits to the partner municipalities.
  • The Greenbelt Foundation’s marketing strength is seen as a benefit for the project and the partnership. A successful signature cycling route will require coordinated programs to manage signage, route improvements and marketing and promotions.
  • The Greenbelt Cycling Route gives the Greenbelt a provincially significant recreation and tourism amenity that people can use and explore.
  • In addition to the extensive municipal consultations, the WRT and TO had an opportunity to introduce the GBCR to provincial staff from Ministry of Transportation and Tourism during a meeting on the need for a Provincial cycle tourism strategy. The GBCR concept was well-received and seen as a potential signature cycle tourism product.
community consultations
Community Consultations

• Met with 53 representatives from the Greenbelt Communities

• Planning, Tourism, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Engineering, Political

  • Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation
  • Oak Ridges Trail Association
  • Niagara Region and Regional Niagara Bike Committee
  • City of Hamilton
  • Halton Region and Burlington,Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills
  • York Region and King TownshipEast Gwillimbury, Whitchurch-StouffvilleRichmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan, TRCA
  • Peel Region and Caledon
  • Durham Region
  • Northumberland County and Port Hope, Cobourg,Hamilton Township, Brighton

As an outcome of the initial presentation and meetings, some subsequent activities took place:

    • Peel Region met with Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga to discuss the GBCR and identify north-south connections
    • Halton Hills presented the the GBCR to its cycling committee.
    • WRT/TO requested to include GBCR as part of its presentation to the Halton Bike Summit (attended by 60 representatives from the Region and beyond).
    • WRT met with York Region to explore route options using Google maps.

Summary of Community Consultations

  • Routing
    • Each regional partner has agreed to work with the WRT and Transportation Options to identify the best possible east-west route to present to regional and/or local councils for approval.
    • It is recognized that constraints and challenges exist, in particular, in Durham Region where no east/west candidate route is clear.
    • The proposed route would stretch from Queenston to Cobourg, offer a variety of terrain and connect to towns and cities throughout the Greenbelt.
    • The GBCR compliments the existing ORT designed primarily for hikers, by giving recreational cyclists a new route to enjoy.
    • The GBCR will attract recreational cyclists who want to visit towns and businesses along the way. This appeals to communities who usually see athletic or training cyclists and clubs, many of whom do not visit the communities.
    • A number of north/south routes to the Waterfront Trail proposed: Etobicoke Creek Trail [Peel], Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario [York], Connections to Rouge National Urban Park [York], Duffins Creek [Durham], and Port Hope and Cobourg Waterfront Trails [Northumberland County].
  • Signage
    • Communities accept an approach to the signage program where the Greenbelt Foundation funds and supplies the directional and trailhead signs. In return the municipalities will install and maintain the route and signage.
    • Halton Hills requires a 10% surplus inventory to replace damaged or lost signs.
    • No issues expressed with plans to brand the route as the Greenbelt Cycle Route.
    • The signage program will need to be designed to accommodate co-branding where the route is used by other local/regional trails. This is true as well with the Waterfront Trail and Trans Canada Trail.

Summary of Community Consultations continued

  • Approvals
    • The GBCR will require approval of several councils, both at the Regional/County level as well as the lower tier municipalities where the route is proposed, and the project will need to include time and resources to accommodate Council presentations by the WRT and/or TO.
    • These approvals would be sought with the positive recommendations at the staff level.
    • None of the partners anticipated objections if the proposed route conformed to existing Master Plans and if a reasonable investment by Greenbelt was offered. Funding the WRT’s/TO role and the Greenbelt’s marketing strength are seen as valuable contributions to the project.
  • Timing
    • There were no issues or concerns expressed with the proposed timeframe.
  • Complimentary Initiatives
      • From policy/planning frameworks to promotional campaigns, most of the partners identified a number of complimentary initiatives that will support the Greenbelt Cycle Route over time.
  • Tourism Partners
    • Multiple levels and potential for tourism partners – Chambers of Commerce, DMO’s, Economic Development, RTO’s
    • All engaged at different level in development & promotion of cycle tourism
    • All regions participate in the Welcome Cyclists Network
    • All regions have either information promoting cycling, published maps, routes or web content
    • Supportive of potential Greenbelt Cycling Route as a new tourism product

Implementation Phase 2013-2014

  • Regional partners meetings [May-September 2013]
    • Confirm route; identify north/south options, review work program and approvals
  • Route Research [Sept. 2013]
    • Assess conditions, amenities, experience
  • Mapping Workshop [September-October 2013]
    • Plenary session from 10 to 3pm
    • 10-minute powerpoint tour of the route by each partner
    • Finalize route and north/south connections
    • Greenbelt presents concept for overarching brand & marketing support
    • Discuss evaluation strategies
    • Partnership/coordination models
    • Review approvals process
    • Review workplan
    • Use information confirmed here to produce pdf maps and refine google-based maps for the route

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Implementation Phase 2014-2015

  • Welcome Cyclists Regional Workshops [January 2014]
    • Regional Workshops led by Transportation Options
    • Secure involvement and promotional strength of the tourism/business sector
  • Mobile Workshop [May 2014]
    • Pilot end to end experience
    • Test mapping
    • Finalize wayfinding program
    • Invite media, local experts, cycling clubs
    • Review public launch plans
  • Signage Audit [May/June 2014]
    • Calculate quantity of directional signs required to mark route
      • Based on one sign every 5 km
    • Develop RFP for sign manufacture and delivery to communities
    • Provide artwork to communities so that the mark is incorporated into management plans
    • Communities install signage
    • Volunteers to audit the installation

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Implementation Phase 2014-2015

  • Signage Installation [May 2014 to July 2015]
    • Regional Workshops led by Louisa Mursell of Transportation Options
    • Secure involvement and promotional strength of the tourism/business sector
    • Media event(s) unveiling the first signs
  • Launch of the Greenbelt Cycling Route [July/August 2015]
    • Based on Great Waterfront Trail Adventure—end to end, fully supported tour for the public
    • Determine itinerary
    • Establish website to promote event and make pdf mapping available
    • Finalize way finding program
    • Invite media, local experts, cycling clubs
    • Review public launch plans
    • Volunteers to audit the installation

Waterfront Regeneration Trust


Tourism Development


  • Day Trips / Weekenders
  • Incorporate portion of GBCR
  • Loops from parking /community
  • Connect to tourism assets
  • Recreational cyclists
  • Length 20-40-50km/day
  • End to End / Multi-Day
  • All on GBCR
  • North South and transportation connections
  • Connect to tourism services and overnight in communities
  • Possible launch event routing
  • Longer lengths 50-120km/day

Tourism Development

TourismAssets on or Near Proposed Route

  • Accommodations
  • Food stops & farms
  • Communities
  • Attractions: natural, cultural, heritage, manmade
  • Also basic services plus bike shops

The Greenbelt Experience

WelcomeCyclists Workshops - Jan / Feb 2014


Tourism Development

  • Working Together On
  • Evaluation – Measuring the economic impact of the GBCR
  • Tourism promotion of route

Route Options by Municipal Partner

Based on discussions in the Feasibility Phase


Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Oak Ridges Moraine Trail (ORT)
    • Generally speaking the ORT and GBCR will be separate routes.
    • The terrain of the ORT is geared to hikers and, in some cases mountain bikes, but generally unsuitable for recreational cyclists the target audience for the GBCR.
    • Opportunities to share staging/parking areas that could serve both trail routes.
    • The GBCR and ORT would compliment each other.

Oak Ridges Trail Association began in 1992 with the goal to develop and secure the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, “thereby promoting an appreciation and respect for the Moraine’s ecological, cultural and scenic integrity, with the aim of retaining the trail corridor in its natural state.”

Oak Ridges Trail measure 280 km from the Bruce Trail to Northumberland Forest. There are 87 km of side trails.


Greenbelt Cycling Route

Tentative Route Selection and Mapping

Peter LipscombeWaterfront Regeneration Trust

Organizational Meeting

May 2013


Route Selection - Overview

  • Consultation during feasibility study resulted in general themes for route
  • Notes were compiled
  • Route was devised based on
    • Notes from consultation
    • Regional active transportation plans
    • Existing routes in region
    • Consultation with knowledgeable cyclists

Route Suitability

  • Objective is to create a continuous, safe route for cyclists
  • Build on/use to regional andlocal plans
  • Preference for
    • Off-road paths
    • Bicycle lanes
    • Paved shoulders
    • Slower moving traffic with lower traffic volumes

Greenbelt Cycling Route Overview

  • Feedback to be solicited from partners
  • Route is only tentative
  • Coordinate with staff at Regional and local levels
    • Leverage work and public consultation done on the active transportation

Greenbelt Cycling Route Overview

  • End products:
    • Google map of route
    • High Quality PDF maps
  • Tentative route has been transcribed onto Google Maps Engine
    • Works best in Chrome Browser

Final output will be high-quality PDF maps

Using Waterfront Trail as successful model

  • show the route
  • two scales for urban/rural
  • alert boxes inform people about trail conditions
  • Other connecting trails displayed

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Niagara Region
    • Stretch of Greenbelt and Escarpment fairly narrow in Niagararecommend route on the northern part of the Region as opposed to the ridge
    • Recommend designating a new regional/provincial route to compliment Waterfront Trail rather than layer an additional identity on this route
    • Regional Road 81 and Queenston Road proposed:
      • Equipped with on-road cycling facilities to Beamsville. Construction on bike lanes on Queenston begins in 2013
      • Wine Route marked
      • Passes St. Catharines VIA and GO train stations
      • Connects: Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland, Jordan, Glendale, St. David’s and Queenston
    • Steep climb into HamiltonFifty Rd or Park Rd.
    • International crossing to USA via Queenston Lewiston Bridge
    • Connections to the Niagara River Recreational Trail (and to the Lake Erie Waterfront Trail), Welland Canal Trail, both connect to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail.

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Hamilton
    • Steep climb into Hamilton from Niagara RegionFiftyRd or Park Rd
    • Options discussed for both above and below the brow of the Escarpment
      • BelowNiagara RR81/Main Street, Grimsby
      • AboveRidge Rd (cycling facilities are planned) or Powerline/Dofasco 2000 Multiuse Trail
      • Routing may involve a few climbs of the escarpment
      • Option to go downtown or Dundas Valley
      • Routing through Dundas Valley may be confusing  requiring more signage
    • Attractions connected: Devil’s Punch Bowl, Eramosa Karst, Ancaster, Christie Conservation Area, Spencer Gorge, Borer’s Falls
    • Connect to the Chippawa Rail Trail (TCT) and Red Hill Valley Trail
    • Connections into Halton: 2 options Parkside to Lowville, Halton OR Center Rd to Carlisle Rd/Killbride Rd to Lowville, Halton.

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Halton Region
      • Enter Halton from Hamilton via Parkside or Centre/Carlisle/Killbride Rd
      • Lowville recommended as a good stop for the GBCR (Hamilton Meeting)
      • Regional standards for Regional Roads call for 1.5 m to 1.8 m shoulder for dedicated cycling lanes. Presently no east/west route on regional roads that meets this criteria
      • Lower Tier communities represented at the meeting and are willing to work on determining a route
      • GBCR will likely use lower tier municipal roadsMilton and Burlington sections to be determined; nothing obvious. Halton Hills has a route in mind
      • Halton Hills already a cycling destination for athletic ridersseen benefit to attracting recreational cyclists who want to stop in towns e.g Georgetown and Acton
      • Connection to Peel is a challenge due to poor road condition of Winston Churchill. Old School Rd west may be an option

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Peel Region
      • Coming from Halton, enter Peel at Terra Cotta
      • Recommended route  35 km Caledon Trailway
          • Off-road, firm surface, well-known
          • Perfect Greenbelt CR experience for young families
          • Passes through 5 communities: Terra Cotta, Cheltenham, Inglewood, Caledon East, Palgrave.
          • Route is also designated as Oak Ridges Trail and Trans Canada Trail
          • Links to York via the ORT (Halls Lake Side Road) OR Humber River Trail which will soon be designated multi-use and goes through Bolton
      • Potential north/south connection to Waterfront Trail via Etobicoke Creek Trail (passes through Brampton and Mississauga). Largely off-road route through the valley. There are a few gaps but plans are in place e.g. Trail link under the QEW planned by the City of Torontorequires MTO approval; Toronto upgrading informal path south of Eglinton in 2014-15; City of Brampton approved budget to complete Trail crossing at HWY 410 and 407—awaiting MTO approvals.

Etobicoke Creek Trail: One of the best candidates for a north south connection between the Greenbelt Cycle Route and the Waterfront Trail.


Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • York Region
      • Enter York to King Township using a route from either Bolton or Halls Lake Side Rd
      • Pinch points will exist on bridges over 407—determining the safest crossing will have a big influence on the final route
      • A few options to consider but definitely a route crossing east/west can be established
      • TRCA project in Richmond Hill could be an attractive addition—screened limestone multi-use trail and facilities
      • Communities not on the spine interested in linking as a spur route
      • Potential north/south connections:
        • To Waterfront Trail via the Lake to Lake route under development-a cycle route from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario
        • To Waterfront Trail via Humber watershed
        • To Waterfront Trail via Rouge Park—opportunity to get Federal participation

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Durham Region
      • Enter from York to Durham on RR#8?
      • No clear candidate route to take cyclists across the Region at this time
      • Region has not yet released its Cycling Master Plan
      • Potential to tie into routes on cycling map currently under development
      • Next steps involve meeting with Township of Scugog and Township of Uxbridge Regional staff noted there may be resistance to sharing the roads with cyclists due to limited paved road network
      • Lower tiers have been working on cycling routes e.g. Clarington Tourism
      • Local cycling champions confident a route can be selected
  • May need to consider an interim route for 2015 that uses the Waterfront Trail or northern parts of Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington (all active Waterfront Trail partners)
  • Potential north/south connections: Duffins Creek Trail

Route Options by Municipal/Partner

  • Northumberland County
      • Northumberland County Cycling Master Plan approved
      • Network of cycling routes has been identified through an extensive engagement process
      • Plan to be implemented over the next 20 years
      • Confidence that a route can be identified by 2015
      • Some constraints include: 401 crossings (County has ranked all possibilities), connection to Durham Region (may use the Waterfront Trail in the near-term) and Hamilton Township’s decision to discourage signed cycling routes on its roads (options exist without their participation)
      • Cycling community is very supportive
      • Possible off-road route through Northumberland Forest
      • Possibility for north south connections exist in:
        • Cobourg—loop to the Waterfront Trail in Downtown using Burham/Ontario
        • Port Hope—down along CR 10

Tourism representatives noted benefits to the areas accommodations and attractions. Also noted that cycling routes increase the appeal of Northumberland to professionals such as doctors.


Next Steps

  • Feedback from local and regional staff on route selection
    • Integrate feedback into next phase
  • On the ground research
    • Drive the route to determine suitability
  • Create Maps
    • Follow-up route meeting – Fall 2013
  • Mobile Workshop – Spring 2014


  • What Council approvals, if any, will be needed to get to a signed route by 2015
    • Designate a official contact/department to work on the project?
      • Greenbelt Cycling Route Steering Committee?
    • Approval of the route.
      • What departments, committees, councilors need to be involved and when?
    • Approvals to have the lower tier and/or upper tier install signage?
    • When should the approvals process get started?
    • What information do we have to supply you for your report(s) to Council?
    • Do you anticipate any political issues?

Waterfront Regeneration Trust